By Sergey Chernov
Russian rock music, which was in cultural opposition to the Soviet regime before its fall in the early 90s, has tended lately to compromise with the increasingly authoritarian Kremlin rather than challenge it.
Some leading Russian rock figures, for instance, entertained Kremlin-backed youth movement Nashi at its summer camp on Lake Seliger in 2005 and 2006 as well as performed on Red Square to celebrate the transfer of the presidency from Vladimir Putin to Dmitry Medvedev on March 2 this year.
But “Dissenters March” (Marsh Nesoglasnykh) Internet compilations — the second of which came out last month — prove that rock music’s original subversive spirit has not expired. Subtitled “A Collection of Protest Songs,” the albums feature dozens of bands, old and new, and have been downloaded by thousands in Russia since the first compilation came out last year.
Andrei Skovorodnikov, the frontman of the Krasnoyarsk punk band Paranoiya i Angedoniya and a member of Eduard Limonov’s banned National Bolshevik Party (NBP), came up with the idea of collecting protest songs and putting them on the web during discussions on namarsh_ru, the livejournal.com Internet community for the members and supporters of pro-democracy coalition The Other Russia. ( Collapse )